Frances Langford Promenade at Lake Mirror
This Lakeland landmark was conceived in 1923 by Thomas J. Appleyard, who lead the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce at the time. Construction for the $1 million project began in September 1926. This beautiful promenade was dedicated in 1946 to one of Lakeland’s favorite citizens: Frances Langford. She was a renowned singer/actress who became well-known for her USO work entertaining America’s soldiers alongside Bob Hope. The promenade underwent refurbishment and was rededicated in 1987. Today, myriad activities take place year-round along the promenade, including free concerts and movies at the amphitheater, festivities related to the annual Mayfaire-by-the-Lake, the Child of the Sun Urban Triathlon and the Lake Mirror Car Classic, just to name a few.
Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture at Florida Southern College
The Florida Southern College campus is home to the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world. The “Child of the Sun” Visitor Center and Esplanade Gift Shop serves as an educational resource for visitors, and it houses a permanent display of photographs, furniture and drawings that depict Wright’s relationship with the College. The Center also houses visiting exhibits on loan from other Wright sites.
If you’re in need of an eyeful of beauty and an earful of classical music, make plans to visit Hollis Garden. This botanic garden that features neoclassical architecture is located along the southern bank of Lake Mirror and features a variety of plants that change with the seasons, koi fish ponds and an area that is ideal for weddings. This garden also serves as a beautiful backdrop for photographers from throughout Central Florida.
Lemon Street Sculpture Competition
Take a stroll along the shady sidewalks of Lemon Street between Massachusetts Avenue and South Florida Avenue and you’ll see a variety of larger-than-life sculptures that are rotated out annually as part of the Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition. These sculptures are selected by a committee of community members and Polk Museum of Art staff. Each year, an independent judge selected the Best of Show, Second Place and Honorable Mention awards for the sculptures. Lakeland residents and visitors get to vote for the People’s Choice award, and the winner is announced at the May First Friday event each year.
Known as the heart of downtown Lakeland, Munn Park has been a part of the city since before the city officially incorporated. The park is named after Abraham Munn, a Kentucky businessman who bought 80 acres of Polk County land in 1882 that later became Lakeland. The park is beautifully landscaped and includes lots of green space, shade trees and a fountain. At the center of the park is a monument that was placed there in 1910 to honor those who died in the Civil War. Munn Park is home to numerous popular events, including Brewz Crewz Craft Beer Festival, Spring Obsession, the Thursday Squared food truck rallies, Holiday Walk About, and First Friday events.